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2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Review

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS has a lavish interior, secure handling, and plenty of advanced safety features. Yet, it earns a midpack ranking because it has very high ownership costs compared to the rest of the class.

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful engines
  • Above-average reliability
  • Poised handling
  • Luxe interior
  • Cramped rear seats
  • Complicated infotainment controls
  • High starting price and ownership costs




Critics' Rating: 8.3
Performance: 8.8
Interior: 7.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 6.8
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Overview

Is the 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS a Good Used Car?

The 2016 Mercedes CLS is a fairly good used car. This four-door coupe has a high-quality cabin, powerful engines, and great driving dynamics. It has one of the highest reliability ratings in the luxury large car class, and many advanced safety features are available, including adaptive cruise control with steering assist. Still, several rivals offer more passenger and cargo space, and this Benz has higher five-year ownership costs than many competitors.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve analyzed 27 Mercedes-Benz CLS reviews, as well as fuel economy estimates, reliability ratings, crash test results, and more, to give you all the information you need to make a smart car-buying decision.

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain impartial, we do not accept extravagant gifts from automakers, and an outside source handles our advertising.

How Much Is the 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS?

Expect to pay between $43,500 and $77,700 for a used 2016 Mercedes CLS. Its average list price is $55,300. These figures are based on 76 listings for the 2016 CLS on our site. Prices vary based on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS Cost to Own?

The CLS' five-year cost for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance is about $40,500 or roughly $8,100 per year. Comparatively, the 2016 Audi A7 and 2016 Mercedes E-Class have lower five-year costs of around $31,400 and $30,300, respectively.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New CLS?

A new Mercedes-Benz CLS starts at $75,150; nearly $20,000 more than the average price of a 2016 CLS. For the 2018 model year, Mercedes discontinued the base CLS 400 trim and its V6 engine and made the CLS 550, along with its potent V8 engine, the base trim. Additionally, the 2018 CLS added a standard rearview camera and made the CLS 550’s nine-speed automatic transmission standard in all trims. Otherwise, the 2016 CLS is similarly equipped and much less expensive. Unless those changes are important to you, save some cash and stick with the 2016 CLS.

Read about the new Mercedes-Benz CLS »

If you'd prefer a new 2018 model but want to stay within the price range of a 2016 CLS, consider the highly ranked 2018 BMW 5 Series. Its starting price is about $2,700 less than an average used 2016 CLS, and it features an easier-to-use infotainment system that includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity. Though the 5 Series is part of the smaller luxury midsize car class, it features a more expansive cargo area, an additional rear seat, and a little extra back-seat legroom.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS?

With a four out of five reliability score from J.D. Power, the 2016 CLS has one of the highest reliability ratings in the class.

Read more about CLS reliability »

2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS Recalls

At the time of this writing, there are no recalls on the 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS.

See more information on Mercedes CLS safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Mercedes-Benz CLS Is Best?

The 2016 Mercedes CLS is part of a generation that started in the 2012 model year and includes the 2018 model. There were few changes between the 2013 and 2015 model years, and they have similar scores in our rankings.

For 2014, Mercedes added the high-performance CLS63 AMG S. The 2015 CLS’ interior and exterior styling was refreshed, and the CLS 400 trim was added. The CLS 550 4Matic (all-wheel drive) gained a standard nine-speed automatic transmission for 2016.

Since there aren’t major changes between the 2015 and 2016 models, we recommend saving some money and shopping for a used 2015 CLS. You can save even more money by shopping for a 2012 CLS, which is still part of the same generation. However, you won’t get any of the benefits of 2015 refresh.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 CLS »

Which Used Mercedes-Benz CLS Is Right for Me?

The 2016 Mercedes CLS is available in three trim levels: CLS 400, CLS 550, and AMG CLS 63 S. The base CLS 400 comes with a 329-horsepower V6 engine, an 8-inch infotainment display, navigation, Bluetooth, a sunroof, heated front seats, and leather upholstery. The CLS 550 has a standard 402-horsepower V8 engine and adds an upgraded navigation system, air suspension, voice recognition, and satellite radio. The CLS 63 S has a 577-horsepower V8 and adds an AMG sport suspension, adaptive pivoting headlights, automatic parallel parking, and a rear sunshade.

The Mercedes CLS 400 is the best value in the CLS lineup. It offers quick acceleration, good fuel economy, and numerous standard features. You may also find models equipped with desirable options like massaging front seats, as well as safety features like blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control.

See 2016 Mercedes CLS trims and specs »

Certified Pre-Owned Mercedes-Benz CLS Warranty

Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned vehicles come with the balance of the original four-year/50,000-mile new-car warranty, plus an additional one-year/unlimited-mileage warranty. If the new-car warranty has expired, you’ll just receive the one-year/unlimited-mileage warranty. Every Mercedes-Benz CPO vehicle must pass a 164-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Mercedes-Benz warranty page carefully. The model's original sale date determines whether it is eligible for the CPO program.

Compared to other luxury brands, Mercedes-Benz features one of the most robust CPO programs.

See the best CPO programs »

Read more about the Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned program »

How Safe Is the CLS?

Like most luxury vehicles, the 2016 Mercedes CLS did not undergo crash testing by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

However, the CLS offers a wide range of driver assistance features. All CLS models have forward collision warning with brake assist, as well as a driver drowsiness monitor. An available Premium package adds a rearview camera and adaptive pivoting headlights. A Parking Assist package adds a 360-degree camera and hands-free parallel parking. A Lane Tracking package adds lane keep assist and blind spot monitoring. A Driver Assistance package adds front and rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control with steering assist, and pedestrian detection.

See CLS safety scores »

2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS or 2016 Audi A7?

There are many similarities between the CLS and the 2016 Audi A7. Both models feature sleek four-door coupe styling, powerful V6 and V8 engines, a generous list of standard safety features, and available luxury features like massaging seats. The Audi, however, features a larger hatchback cargo bay, a more spacious five-seat interior, and a cheaper average price. That said, the CLS has a much higher reliability rating than the A7. These two have similar overall scores in our rankings, so choose the one that best fits your needs. For a good overall vehicle with excellent reliability, go for the CLS. If a lower reliability rating doesn't bother you, choose the A7 for its extra space and lower price.

Which Is Better: 2016 Mercedes CLS-Benz or 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class?

Built on the same vehicle platform, both the CLS and 2016 Mercedes E-Class share many similarities. They have many of the same cabin amenities and safety and convenience features, as well as several of the same engines in their lineups. Yet, the E-Class is a superior option. Not only is it substantially less expensive than the CLS, but it also has an additional rear seat in sedan models and a roomier back row. The CLS' reliability rating is slightly higher than the E-Class', though.

Which Is Better: 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS or 2016 BMW 5 Series?

The 2016 BMW 5 Series is a more practical choice than the CLS. It's available in a hatchback body style (Gran Turismo) with roughly 60 cubic feet of overall cargo space, it has seating for five, and it delivers superior fuel economy. The 5 Series also offers many of the same luxury and safety features as the CLS, including blind spot monitoring and massaging seats. Acceleration and handling are strong suits for both vehicles. Though the CLS has a slightly higher reliability score, you should opt for the more affordable 5 Series.

Compare the CLS, A7, and E-Class »

2016 CLS Performance

How Does the 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS Drive?

The 2016 CLS 400 features a 329-horsepower, turbocharged V6 engine and a seven-speed automatic transmission. The CLS 550 features a 402-horsepower, turbocharged 4.7-liter V8 and a nine-speed automatic. The Mercedes-AMG CLS 63 S features a turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. It has 577 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. The CLS 400 and 550 deliver ample power and acceleration, and the 550 has a smooth-shifting automatic transmission. Critics praise the AMG model for its breathtaking acceleration. 

Rear-wheel drive is standard, and Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel-drive system is available (standard with the AMG CLS 63 S). An adaptive suspension that adjusts to various road conditions is also available. The CLS has poised handling and corners well at speed. Steering is accurate and responsive. Some reviewers think the CLS delivers a cushioned ride, but others argue that the suspension is too stiff for optimal comfort when driving around town.

Does the 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS Get Good Gas Mileage?

The 2016 Mercedes CLS delivers 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway in the base trim, which is good for its class. The 2016 Audi A7 gets the same ratings. The Mercedes E-Class and BMW 5 Series are both a part of the luxury midsize car class, and they deliver 20/28 mpg city/highway and 23/34 mpg city/highway, respectively.

Read more about CLS performance »

2016 CLS Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 CLS Seat?

The 2016 CLS seats four in two rows of seats. The front seats are comfortable and supportive, but rear-seat headroom is tight. Many rivals feature an additional rear seat and provide more seating space. The CLS' cabin is filled with premium materials.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS?

There are two full sets of LATCH connectors on the rear seats.

2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS Model Features

Regardless of trim level, all Mercedes-Benz CLS sedans are well-equipped with standard convenience features, including an 8-inch infotainment screen, navigation, Bluetooth, a USB port, and an SD card reader. Mercedes’ COMAND infotainment system uses a control knob located on the center console and additional buttons on the dashboard. The system responds quickly to inputs, though some of its menus and functions can feel overly complex. Available features include voice recognition, a rearview camera, remote keyless entry, a rear sunshade, and a Bang & Olufsen sound system.

See 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS specs »

Read more about CLS interior »

2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS Dimensions

Mercedes-Benz CLS Cargo Space

The 2016 CLS has 11 cubic feet of trunk space, which is below average for the class. Split-folding rear seats and a power trunk lid are available.

2016 CLS Length and Weight

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS is approximately 16 feet long, and its curb weight ranges from 4,034 pounds (base CLS 400) to 4,420 pounds (AMG CLS 63 S).

Where Was the 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS Built?

The 2016 Mercedes CLS was assembled in Sindelfingen, Germany.


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